How to Live A Worthwhile Year
Another year is going to end. In fact, this time a decade has come to its end.
And like every time, most people at this point of time are busy retrospecting their life. How was their 2019, what went wrong, what went good, what new experiences this year brought to them? Whether this year is a good one or not so a good one.
This is the time when most people are busy making their new year resolutions.
But how one decides whether the year passed is a good or not so good one?
Well, different people have different ways to measure their passed year as well as their progress. For some people growth of their professional career matters most while reviewing their year. For some growth of their relationship or health matters most. It depends on the individual.
From my experience, what I have observed over the years is that people look at their passing years (or their overall life) in chunks, not as a whole.
For people in their 20’s, maybe career matters most, for people in the ’30s maybe relationships, in ’40s health becomes very important suddenly (as it starts deteriorating), and in their 50’s and after that people talk about spiritual growth.
This is how society teaches us to see our lives, in chunks. This is exactly like a person has been blindfolded and asked to identify an elephant. Obviously. that person will identify the elephant as its tail, trunk, tooths, legs, or by its skin.
Until you open your eyes and get the opportunity to see the elephant, you would not know that the trunk, legs, tail, skin all belong to the same elephant. They are not separate but part of the same elephant. Your situation would be exactly like the image below
Similar is the situation with our lives. Imagine our life as the elephant and your career, relationship, health as different parts, just like different parts of the elephant.
You can have a better perspective of life when you see it as a whole, not as chunks.
In the beginning, I said most people try to make resolutions for the new year. Sounds cool right but believe it or not, only 8% or less than that fulfill their resolutions.
And everyone has their own reasons why they couldn’t make it. And it’s human nature. We want to feel good about ourselves, we want to motivate ourselves. So as the year ends, we try to motivate ourselves by making new resolutions.
Psychology professor Peter Hermann call this ‘false hope syndrome’, which he said
“Their resolution is significantly unrealistic and out of alignment with their internal view of themselves”
And this is a vicious cycle for a lot of people. Before every year beginning they thought they will do this and that, and the year passes by without fulfilling most of those. And then again repeat the whole process. As if, whole life is just passing unconsciously.
‘Ok enough, what about you? How do you review your year or your life?’ you must be thinking.
What I am going to share with you is my personal opinion and way of looking (And love this concept so much that one day I would like to write an entire book in this). You may not find it reasonable or suitable. In that case, you keep looking for your way what suits you.
As I said earlier, My way of looking the past years is not in chunks but as a whole.
I correlate it with the string theory of physics. String theory says there are 10 different dimensions of our universe. But because we live in a three-dimensional world, we have very limited ideas about our universe. (in fact, it talks about the possibility of the multiverse).
If somehow we can access other dimensions of the universe, we can uncover a lot of mysteries of the universe. You can read more about this here.
Likewise, our life also consists of different dimensions. When we can see and measure all those, we are in a better position to live a blissful life.
Mainly, I see life divided into five different dimensions.
1. Physical dimension
This implies the significance of your health, about your physical fitness. We all are aware of it and heard a hundred times from various sources. But believe me, you probably haven’t experienced that feeling, when you are so lightweight and high in energy the whole day. If you have experienced then you know what I am talking about.
And it requires immense commitment from you. You have to watch out what are feeding to your body, your workout regimes, and many other things.
Carol Alt said-
2. Emotional dimension
This is where you take of your emotional health. How aware are you about it? Are you getting better at relationships?
In today’s world understanding human psychology is the biggest asset. Brian Tracy said
“Your network is your net worth”
It’s the people who lift us and make us successful in the long run. Are you taking care of your relationships?
In today’s era, people look for the love of their life and once they find them, they complain ‘ But the magic is just lost, there is no spark left between us’. Often we try to feel others cup without even filling our own empty cup.
Are you falling in that trap? Remember ‘being in love’ and ‘falling in love’ is not the same.
3. Financial dimension
No need to introduce this. Perhaps, all our life we stress most about this one. And of course, it matters a lot. With a steady financial condition, we have more freedom about the way we want to spend our time. We can travel more, experience more and buy some of those fancy stuff (although they never make us content).
Most importantly, proper financial knowledge is of utmost importance. Everybody taught us about the importance of money but rarely anyone talks about how to earn money and then spend it wisely
Voltaire, a French philosopher once said
4. Intellectual dimension
How do we define intellect?
You must have some perception. Cambridge English dictionary described it as ‘the ability to think and understand in an intelligent way.’
Intellect is the ability to learn and understand things. It is your craving for knowledge.
And you know what is most interesting, intellect is not something fixed people born with. You can increase your intellect and become more intellectual.
Intelligence and growth are almost synonyms. If you are not growing that means your intelligence is fixed.
How do you increase your intellect?
Have a yearning for growth, read great books, talk with intelligent people of different backgrounds, watch videos of people you adore or respect. Most importantly, don’t stop growing. keep evolving.
5. Spiritual dimension
A lot of people often say youth is the time to enjoy, to set your life, not to become spiritual. I know when you heard the word spiritual, you imagine a monk meditating in the Himalayas.
But that’s not all. Spirituality is not just leaving everything aside and becoming a monk (although you can do that). Just becoming more mindful at every moment is one step towards spirituality. A mindful person is also a spiritual person.
Humans are the only creature who has this option to become self-aware about themselves. Between a stimulus and its response, only humans have the capability to pause and become self-aware. The more self-aware you become about yourself, about your existence, the more spiritual you will be.
Dimension 1 talks about your body, 2 and 4 about nourishing your mind, 5 about your soul, and 3 talks about enjoying your life by having a solid financial knowledge.
How do I review my year?
I look into each of the aforementioned dimensions. How did I treat my body this year, is it getting better, am I feeling more energetic?
Likewise, I reflect on my relationships, the kind of people I met this year, new connections I made, the kind of book I read and what new things I learned from those.
If I feel I have improved in all these dimensions this year, then my year has passed well, if not then it’s not a good year for me.
I am in a better frame of mind when I treat my life like this. It’s just like the above examples, when you open your blindfold you can see the whole elephant or when you have access to different dimensions, you get to know more about the universe.
And frankly, if you are very serious about making 2020 a productive year, then stress less upon making new resolutions and more on developing better habits.
Habits will take you where you want to go. Resolutions are like the trophy we want to win, and habits are like the skillsets required to win the match and get the trophy.
Focus on your habits, you will surely win the trophy.
If you want to read something more on habits, how to break the bad ones and make good ones then I recommend you to read the following two books which I found very useful
A very happy and prosperous new year.
May all your new year resolutions come true.
See you in the next year.
Originally published at http://joyexcel.com on December 29, 2019.